Pubdate: Fri, 13 May 2016
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Page: A4
Copyright: 2016 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Shaamini Yogaretnam


Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau says he won't stop opposing a
supervised injection site in Sandy Hill until he sees a plan from site
proponents on how they plan to prevent crime in the area.

"My concern is from a public safety perspective," Bordeleau told this
newspaper at an editorial board meeting Wednesday.

"Until I see a plan that's presented by organizers and the proponents
that addresses those public safety concerns, I can't support that. And
I haven't seen that yet."

The Sandy Hill Community Health Centre plans to develop a supervised
injection site, but has yet to apply for a federal exemption from drug
laws in order to be able to do so. The application requires a letter
from the city and the police chief.

"We know for a fact that (a supervised injection site) could impact
that community," Bordeleau said, "and we hear that from the community
and we hear that from our officers. You put a site in Sandy Hill,
which is surrounded by businesses, residences and schools, and that
will attract addicts to go and shoot up their illegal substances in
that site. What that will result in is, most likely, an increase in
drug traffickers to sell their drugs to those addicts in that specific

Bordeleau said that the same is true of other areas where there is a
high concentration of drug users such as the areas around the
Salvation Army, the Mission and the Shepherds of Good Hope. Police
conduct enforcement efforts in those areas to stop "traffickers from
preying on vulnerable addicts," he said.

Bordeleau said the concentration of drug users and dealers could
create a "potential" for increased criminal activity in the area.

"We know for a fact that users, to buy their drugs, commit crimes -
whether they break into cars, or other types of things - that's how
they get their money. So our concern is potentially we'll see an
increase in crime in that vicinity of the Sandy Hill Community Centre."

Bordeleau said as chief of police he needs to be addressed directly by
the site's organizers. He said he is open-minded and that the service
is also open-minded but "give us something. We've seen nothing."

"I want to hear from the organizers in Sandy Hill: What are they 
going to do, specific things that they're going to do to try to 
mitigate the presence of drug traffickers, because they will show up, 
it's a fact that they will show up there."

Rob Boyd, director of the health centre's harm reduction program, said
the centre has "some plans to address concerns about dealing with
crime and other public nuisance behaviours in the area."

Boyd said it's not surprising that this is what the chief is looking
for since a letter from him is required for the proposed site's
exemption application. That application also requires them to provide
local crime data. Boyd expects to have a plan to Bordeleau in July and
then work, based on the chief 's input, to improve the plan. 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D